Harrison Dahme, Howl Staff
It‘s about a party. There is no plot, there is no development; it’s about a wicked party. Here, I’ll spoil the plot for you: Tom is a loser in a suburban LA high school, and his buddies decide to throw him a birthday party while his parents are out of town. They invite 2,000+ people, trash the house, burn the neighbourhood and sidestep all the consequences. Then it ends. Done. That is not to say it’s a bad movie – you should just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into when you buy the movie ticket.
As soon as the party started, I was dreading the ending. There’s a reason my roommates and I stopped having house parties, and this movie damn well triggered that nerve. The truth of it is, drinking is only glamorous before the cops show up the first time. This is the first film I’ve seen go so far off the edge, they have to show the progression of drinking to where everyone’s slurring their speech and has a glazed, hazy-eyed look. The young-20s audience loved it, but I could tell that they were all exhausted when they left the theatre. There is a point in the movie where things get too ridiculous to have any basis in reality, at which point the movie amps its intensity by throwing drugs into the mix.
There isn’t much to say about it in-depth, it’s just a pseudodocumentary of the most wicked rager ever. See it if that’s your thing, otherwise don’t. Although, I imagine the movie would be so much better if you were drinking along with the plot. Not that I’m encouraging you to sit in a theatre tossing back double gin and tonics solo – for godsakes, if you’re going to see it, see it with some friends who’ll be there with you while you get politely sloshed.
There were two things I’d like to note which drove me mad:
One: There were a ton of topless chicks. While that isn’t usually a bad thing, they were supposed to be in high school, which makes them about 17 years old. So it was pretty disturbing to watch, as in most places that probably counts as child porn.
Two: The kids have this epic rager, burn down the neighbourhood, have to get the riot cops called on them to break up their party… and then there are no consequences. The dad gets upset and that’s about it. It could have been entertaining to see how the cast is able to pull it all back from the brink of total destruction but as it is, no one takes responsibility for what happened. I hate to play the role of grandpa, but it’s promulgating all the wrong kinds of information to the kids who watch this and then throw messy ragers, because while I remember my own house parties being quite epic back in the day, we trashed our suite in residence, and at the end of the day we had to deal with cleaning it up in a hungover, sleep deprived and sticky state.
If them there kids are going to watch this flick, they should at least know that in real life they will have to answer to their parents for what they’ve done, and they’ll have to live with whatever consequences come about from their actions. There are some lessons you shouldn’t have to learn the hard way, and Hollywood probably isn‘t gonna teach you.